Stay in touch or be left out because Ohio State recruiting is a 24-hour, seven-day-per-week obsession. What’s the latest news as the Buckeyes build for the future? Get that and more Sunday through Thursday on Lettermen Row, including tonight’s update on 2020 receiver Gee Scott and a pair of 2019 standouts that would like to hear from Ohio State.
Gee Scott sets decision date, could be good news for Ohio State
The Buckeyes could be closing in on their sixth commitment when Sammamish (Wash.) Eastside Catholic receiver Gee Scott makes a decision in his recruitment on Christmas day.
I will officially be making my commitment on Christmas Day…🙏🏽
— Gee Scott Jr. (@geescottjr) December 22, 2018
A 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver, Scott will make his commitment between Ohio State, Notre Dame and a few other finalists. He’s the country’s 15th-ranked receiver according to the 247Sports.com composite rankings and the 70th overall prospect in the Class of 2020. He’s been to Ohio State just once, but that visit in October has become the background to a very close-knit relationship he’s formed with Buckeyes receivers coach Brian Hartline since.
There’s no set time for an announcement from Scott but if you’re a Buckeyes football fan, the odds are pretty good that you’ll be receiving an extra gift this Christmas.
Arizona cornerback Noa Pola-Gates has Ohio State roots
One of the biggest areas of need remaining for Ohio State in the Class of 2019 is the cornerback position specifically and the defensive backfield in general. The Buckeyes have commitments from Bryson Shaw and Ronnie Hickman but there’s a real need for one or maybe two more players at that position.
On Friday, we went over a handful of the names that could be worth paying attention to as Ohio State attempts to finish up their class over the next five-plus weeks. One of the names that we brought up was Gilbert (Ariz.) Williams Field 4-star Noa Pola-Gates.
The country’s No. 18-ranked cornerback prospect, Pola-Gates could play safety in college and has a decision date set for Jan. 19. He has Buckeyes roots but to this point has never heard from Ohio State.
“I’ve never heard from Ohio State,” the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Pola-Gates told Lettermen Row. “It’s a dream school. My uncle Nicky Sualua played there. He’s my mom’s cousin, but we were raised like siblings.”
Family roots to the Buckeyes certainly won’t guarantee Ohio State interest, but it could help accelerate the getting-to-know-you phase if there’s some there. The Buckeyes have been working hard in the last year-plus to gain more traction in the Phoenix area and could potentially add some real intrigue to the recruitment of Pola-Gates who is expecting to choose between Arizona State, USC and Nebraska at the Polynesian All-American Bowl. He also has offers from Alabama, Penn State, Texas, Florida State, Michigan State, Colorado and Oregon among others.
Georgia lineman Kamaar Bell wants to hear from Ohio State
We’re going to stay on the list of players we talked about Friday and move to the offensive line. That’s where 3-star guard Kamaar Bell from Colquitt (Ga.) Moultrie plays.
“I would like to hear from Ohio State,” Bell said. “Ohio State is a dream school. It’s really a school I liked. They’re always pretty good and I think I’d be a good fit at Ohio State.
“They’ve offered my friend (and teammate) Jay Ward.”
The 6-f0ot-3, 320-pound Bell is expected to visit Auburn in January and was offered by Florida State last week and has set an official visit with the Seminoles at the end of January. He told Lettermen Row that if Ohio State offered, he’d do the same.
“I’m looking for a place that I feel at home,” Bell said. “And a place that there could be early playing time.”
The Buckeyes will lose three offensive line starters in 2019, including both guards and if Michael Jordan decides to enter the NFL Draft, could enter the 2019 season with just 11 scholarship linemen.
Can Ohio State find another quarterback in Austin, Texas?
A little over a year ago, Ohio State went to Austin, Texas to check in on a little-known quarterback who was committed to Colorado State named Matthew Baldwin. Baldwin, of course, would decommit from the Rams and eventually become the first quarterback to sign with Ryan Day, who was his lead his recruiter.
Today Ohio State is once again stuck searching for a quarterback late in the recruiting cycle and there is another young quarterback in Austin that is hoping to attract some big-school attention as the final signing period of 2019 is drawing near.
Sam Saxton is a 6-foot-5, 190-pound senior at St. Michael’s Academy. His high school career has been a little tumultuous though: he’s played at three different high schools in three seasons.
I spent my first two years of high school at a Texas football powerhouse, Westlake, and I lettered both years and got the chance to be the quarterback after Sam Ehlinger went down with a broken thumb,” Saxton told Lettermen Row. “I completed 95-percent of my passes and threw 11 touchdowns in four games.
“After that season I suffered a back injury and the coaching staff would not allow me to let it heal so we looked for somewhere else [to play.] My parents are divorced so my mom lived in the Austin High School’s district, and that gave me the opportunity to go and play for coach Rosenthal and the Maroons. At the end of that season however, my mom had to move out of the district because she couldn’t afford it anymore and Austin High wasn’t taking transfers anymore so I was left having to decide if I should go back to Westlake or go to a private school for my last year.”
That led Saxton to St. Michael’s. As an Austin resident, Saxton has been able to forge a relationship with Trent Dilfer, one of the leaders of the Elite 11 and a guy that knows a good quarterback when he sees one.
“I work with Trent Dilfer and he told me I have one of the best arms in my class,” he said. “But the three moves make big colleges worried. Dilfer lives in Austin, so we’ve been able to build up a relationship. We do 1-on-1 training every now and then. Dilfer thinks I could perform well on any level and thinks I even have NFL potential.”
Michigan State was at one time very interested in Saxton but he’s still waiting on his first big-time offer.
Birm is Lettermen Row's Director of Recruiting and the site's primary Ohio State sports photographer. A Toledo, Ohio native, Jeremy has been in similar roles for elevenwarriors.com and Landof10.com and has been covering the Buckeyes for seven years.